Principle Power-Led Consortium Awarded $3.6 Million for DIGIFLOAT, an Innovative Digital Twin Project for Floating Wind Applications

26 September 2019

Emeryville, CA, 26 September, 2019 – A consortium of partners led by Principle Power has been awarded a $3.6 million grant from the U.S Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop, validate and operate DigiFloat, the world’s first digital twin software tailored to floating offshore wind applications.

This digital twin model will be a real-time, high-fidelity numerical representation of the WindFloat Atlantic (WFA) Project, which will be one of the world’s first floating offshore wind farms once the installation is completed off the coast of northern Portugal.  

“We are at the beginning of an exciting new era for floating wind and proud to be part of a team that is developing digital innovations that will help accelerate the deployment of the technology around the world,” said João Metelo, CEO, Principle Power. “This grant will be instrumental in ensuring that the game-changing WindFloat technology can benefit from innovations that achieve greater efficiency and design optimization, which will make it increasingly competitive in terms of cost and performance.”

The project consortium is composed of the following private and public organizations: Principle Power Inc, Akselos Inc, the American Bureau of Shipping, the University of Washington-Applied Physics Laboratory, the University of California Berkeley, U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, and EDP Renewables North America Offshore.

“Insights from the digital twin model we build and validate will give designers, operators, and other stakeholders greater understanding into WFA’s performance and operation, leading to less downtime, lower operational costs and better predictive capabilities. Using the software on a full-scale floating offshore wind turbine in a dynamic, offshore environment enables us to create superior, next-generation designs by closing the design feedback loop on a real-world project,” said Sam Kanner, R&D Lead at Principle Power and Principal Investigator of the project.  

The funding is part of the Aerodynamic Turbines Lighter and Afloat with Nautical Technologies and Integrated Servo-control (ATLANTIS) program, created by the Department of Energy to develop radically new floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) by maximising their rotor-area-to-total-weight ratio while maintaining or ideally increasing turbine generation efficiency; build a new generation of computer tools to facilitate floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT) design; and collect real data from full and lab-scale experiments to validate the FOWT designs and computer tools.


About Principle Power
Principle Power is a global energy technology company that enables solutions for harvesting the full potential of the world’s renewable energy resources, with a focus on unlocking the best offshore wind sites previously inaccessible due to water depths or bottom conditions. Principle Power’s proven technology, the WindFloat - a floating wind turbine foundation – enables a change in paradigm for the industry in terms of reduced costs and risks for the installation and operations of offshore wind turbines. Principle Power sells the WindFloat as a technology solution and acts as service provider to developers, utilities and independent power producers, being present from the overall system design throughout fabrication, installation and commissioning, and providing support to customers during the operation life cycle of the platform.
Principle Power's mission is to make the WindFloat the most competitive, safe, reliable and environmentally friendly technology for deep-water offshore wind projects while enabling global offshore wind markets to reach their full potential.

About ARPA-E
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. ARPA-E awardees are unique because they are developing entirely new ways to generate, store, and use energy. ARPA-E projects have the potential to radically improve U.S. economic prosperity, national security, and environmental well-being. We focus on transformational energy projects that can be meaningfully advanced with a small amount of funding over a defined period of time. Our streamlined awards process enables us to act quickly and catalyze cutting-edge areas of energy research.